The Spiritual Life Weekend was awesome! Here’s a follow up post to say thanks.
Hosting a series of Spiritual Life Nights has been on our radar for quite sometime. Most all of our Harvest Conferences require some sort of pre-registration and most go for a full day or weekend. We wanted to offer something to students who have never been able to come for a full weekend discipleship event. We also wanted to offer an event at no charge so everyone was able to attend.
But more than the logistical side to the event, there is a growing sense of the next generation being more open than ever to spiritual things, but less and less Christian. There is a need for students – church kids and unchurched kids alike – to hear the truth of the Gospel! Just like families invest time in committing to sports, practices, school work, health, and other aspects of life we wanted to give an opportunity for people to put some emphasis and focus on eternal things – things that really matter. We want to be faithful with the opportunity we have to do kingdom work in Illinois and invite students to know Christ follow him more closely.
We Give God Praise
I praise the Lord for the fruit from the weekend. There were approximately 425 people in attendance for the event and we an awesome time of worship, prayer and fellowship. There’s no way to calculate the number of decisions and commitments that were made, but we trust the Lord to do the work in the hearts of the students! Our prayer is for fruit that will last. And our prayer is for power as seeds grow.
A big thanks to Tom Richter for speaking during the event! It was a great evening and we had an awesome response from students and leaders. Thanks for jumping in the van with Harvest for the ministry adventure – you a cool and funny guy. Awesome messages and we appreciated your part in the ministry!
Thanks to the Host Churches
What amazing host churches! Thanks for your partnership on this first ever series of Spiritual Life Nights. All three host churches assembled a great team of leaders, had amazing dinners, awesome hospitality, and bent over backwards to help make the event a success. Thanks to St. Matthew in Belleville; First UMC’s Venue in Olney and Herrin First UMC! (Thanks to the host church contacts: Brian, Kyle and Becky – great job!)
In addition to the host church, the sponsor churches helped support the ministry by contributing $40 toward the event. Here are the sponsor churches who participated:
Belleville St. Matthew, Troy UMC, Greenville College, Pittsburg Freewill Baptist, Columbia Bethany, Trenton UMC, Flora Nazarene Church, Belleville Union, Journey UMC, Sumner Beulah, O’Fallon UMC, Carbondale First UMC, Macomb Wesley, Mt Carmel Evangelical, Eden UCC, Shattuc UMC, Olney First, Bridgeport UMC, Herrin First, Newton Grace, Falmouth UMC, Greenville College, Carbondale Grace UMC, McKendree University, and Lawrenceville First UMC.
Thanks to the Churches Who Brought A Group of Students
The partnership between Harvest and the pastors and youth leaders who round up students is amazing! Thanks to each adult, pastor, youth worker and family member who brought a student to Spiritual Life Nights!
Thanks to Pastor Wilson and Trinity Church for the awesome last minute lunch on the way through Salem, IL on Friday! What an amazing pit stop. It really felt like the book of ACTS – stopping by the church for fellowship and connection on the way to another ministry event. It was a blast. And a special shout out to the awesome folks at The Holiday in Olney! What a great organization and kingdom minded owners! We enjoyed staying with you all.
Thanks to Mark Fresen, Troy UMC and Tracy Bodenbach
A special thanks to Mark Fresen for traveling along with the team and pulling the trailer! It was a blast to have you with us. And thanks to Tracy Bodenbach from Output Unlimited for the great deal on the sound equipment. And thanks to Troy UMC for the use of the production equipment – staging, lights, etc. What a blessing.
It was a blast getting to hang out with the Harvest Team Members for the weekend. Spent time praying for the students, visiting about life and ministry and having tons of fun! In addition to the travel, set ups and ministry, we had a chance to have great food, talk a lot and squeezed in a game of Kubb. These were the Harvest Team Members who served for this weekend:
Brian Caringer, Joe Kraudel, Alex Mitchell, Emily Gray, Bobby Fairless, Curt Franklin, Tim Price, Bonnie Pockington and Ryan Kennett
Thanks to the Harvest Volunteers
Amanda Caringer, Scot Cushing, Jennifer Zahn, Julie Knopf, Tonnie Schalk, Glenn Todd, Rachel Gunn, Mark Fresen, Laura, Sadie Murbarger, Ruby and Macy Price. We also appreciate the tech team at St. Matthew for their help in the event!
What a great team of volunteers at each of the host churches! The refreshments were awesome, the set up was smooth and the church really came out in droves to help offer the message of hope to students!
Thanks to the Harvest Staff
A big thanks to Christine Fuesz for her work on the ministry event before hand. Thanks for your leadership in publicity, website, printing and communication. Thanks to Nancy Story for her ministry in office communication and sponsor church connections and thanks to Suzanne Price for her ministry during the weekend – media, resources and administration!